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  • Frankie Pondolph
    December 10, 2018
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    When I received the news that Dr. Denis Mukwege received the Nobel Peace prize, I began to cry. Instant emotion took over my body as I shed tears for the thousands of survivors Dr. Mukwege has treated, the thousands of survivors that are on the road to recovery and the thousands of survivors that hide in the shadows. How has the world come to such a place that sexual violence is used as an act of war: one that divides families, destroys communities, and physically harms women, children and men of all ages? While unimaginable, it is the reality for many places around the world— but the world is watching and what we do next matters.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    November 28, 2018
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    By: Dana Drugmand, Equal Exchange Barista 

    On Thursday October 11th, a group of activists, teachers, friends and allies gathered in the Equal Exchange cafe for a discussion on chocolate and climate change hosted by the Equal Exchange Organizing department. The event, titled, “The Current Storm: The Realities of Climate Change for Cacao Producers,” featured Miriam Elena Maza Asencios and Cesar Salas Garcia from Acopagro in Peru and Abel Fernandez from the CONACADO Co-op in the Dominican Republic.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    November 15, 2018

    While we take stock in the still-incomplete election results of last week, a more “evergreen” threat to American democracy is busy working 24/7 to thwart the will of the people.That is the corrupting influence of big money in politics. In fact, spending on the mid-term elections topped $5 billion—much of that from “dark money” groups who don’t need to disclose who is behind them.Taking a stand in favor of democracy, Equal Exchange recently endorsed the direction of American Promise.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    November 15, 2018

    Equal Exchange avocado supporters may remember that in October 2016, Equal Exchange avocados were unavailable for about 2 weeks due to strikes in Mexico. You may also remember that during that time, Equal Exchange Produce President Nicole Vitello put out a blog post about the supply gap in which she tackled two major questions about the situation: why did the supply of Mexican avocados to the U.S. suddenly stop?, and How is Equal Exchange an alternative?

  • Frankie Pondolph
    November 8, 2018
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    Have you ever seen a cacao pod? In the wild or on the farm, it awkwardly hangs from the trunk and branches of the Theobroma cacao tree. An alien fruit of seemingly endless variety —shaped like a papaya, hard like an acorn squash and often ridged like one, too. It comes in reds, browns, golds, purples, sometimes different varieties growing right alongside one another. Cutting one open reveals a world no less strange than the exterior—filmy, gooey white membrane enrobes brown and purple beans that are about the size of large grapes. The aroma from the interior is alluring, though: citric and bold, floral and sweet, even woodsy and minerally, depending on the variety of pod you’re sniffing

  • Rob Everts
    November 1, 2018

    November 16th marks the 29th anniversary of the slaying of six Jesuit priests, their housekeeper and her daughter by government-run death squads in El Salvador in 1989. This past October 14th, slain Salvadoran archbishop Oscar Romero was canonized as a saint by the Catholic Church.The murders of these priests—and of 80,000 more whose names we’ll never know—were carried out in no small part with the support of billions of dollars in U.S. funding and training of corrupt governments in El Salvador. The victims were largely peasants and workers organizing for their rights and a better life.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    October 8, 2018

    When you purchase a conventional banana at a grocery store, there are certain costs that your everyday low price covers: the fruit itself; the international shipping costs; the trucking from the warehouse to the grocery stores. These costs are internalized, meaning they’re accounted for in the final price you pay.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    September 18, 2018

    Early September marks the beginning of the season for Equal Exchange avocados. While avocados are grown year-round by our small farmer partners in Mexico, it is during the early fall that the harvest of this creamy and delicious tropical fruit reaches a sufficient volume for Equal Exchange to begin importing and selling to our customers on a weekly basis. As the Avocado Supply Chain Coordinator, I’ve spent the past year managing the weekly logistics of import and distribution from our office in Massachusetts.

  • Frankie Pondolph
    September 10, 2018
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    Equal Exchange has been operating in the Portland, Oregon area since the mid 1990’s. As a worker-owner of Equal Exchange, I was curious about this transition of the company from being east-centric to bicoastal. How did it all begin? Who was involved? What is the unfolding story and how did it take shape? Where did we come from and where are we going?

  • Frankie Pondolph
    August 16, 2018
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    On June 22-24th workers-owners of Equal Exchange Frankie Pondolph and Rose Smith along with Action Forum member Megan Straughen attended New Economy Coalition biennial conference, CommonBound. This year the conference was held in St. Louis, Missouri bringing together individuals over the course of three days to work towards owning our collective power and building the seeds for a new and transformative economy both locally and internationally. Below both Megan and Rose reflect on their experiences at CommonBound and what they learned to build capacity, tools and resilience for the future.

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